Read The Corpse in the Snowman by Nicholas Blake Free Online
Book Title: The Corpse in the Snowman|
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Loaded: 1955 times
Reader ratings: 4.2
The author of the book: Nicholas Blake
Edition: HarperCollins Publishers
Date of issue: January 1st 1986
ISBN 13: 9780060807993
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.73 MB
Read full description of the books:
PR: I like Mr. Strangeways. He's my best policeman.
JR: He isn't a policeman, you spotted pard. He's a private impersonator.
PR: What's that?
JR: It's--well, it's a private impersonator., like Sherlock Holmes. He puts on a false beard and tracks the criminal to his lair when the police are baffled.
~Priscilla and John Restorick
The Corpse in the Snowman (1941) by Nicholas Blake (pp 3-4)
Unfortunately, the title gives away a huge plot point--but that's not too terribly awful because we learn about the dead body in the snowman in the very first chapter...we just don't know who it is.
Priscilla and John Restorick are gazing out their nursery window at the glorious snowman that they and their beloved uncle had built several weeks ago when the great snow which was now melting had covered the countryside. In fact, Queen Victoria (as the snowman had been fashioned) was looking a bit worse for wear herself. When Priscilla returns later (after a piano lesson), the children return to the window and stare in fascinated horror as Queen Victoria's face slides right away...leaving another face behind it.
The story then goes into flash-back mode, taking the reader back to the days just before Christmas when the Restorick family and friends gathered in the Bishop's Room, said to be haunted, to see if they might dredge up a ghost. The family cat, Scribbles, behaves very oddly--acting as though she might have seen something otherworldly and Clarissa Cavendish, cousin to Nigel Strangeways' wife and who has witnessed the scene, feels that something dangerous is going on. She invites Nigel and Georgia to stay with her and investigate. Nigel is to assume the character of a dabbler in the psychic arts and "investigate" the strange disturbance in the haunted room.
But before Nigel can make much headway, Elizabeth Restorick, wanton daughter of the house, is found dead, apparently of suicide. He suspects murder and finds that in this seemingly mild country house there are motives aplenty--from money to sex to drugs. And plenty of suspects as well--from the doctor who was supposedly curing her of a drug habit to a "friend" who was more like a jealous rival to the brother and sister-in-law who could definitely use the money Elizabeth left behind. Nigel and Inspector Blount, who is assigned to the case, discover a twisted story of revenge running through the plot.
Murder for Christmas is always an interesting twist for the holidays and Nicholas Blake provides a nice country house murder as a yuletide present with plenty of red herrings and clues to go round. A highly enjoyable winter read.
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Read information about the authorNicholas Blake is the pseudonym of poet Cecil Day-Lewis C. Day Lewis who was born in Ireland in 1904. He was the son of the Reverend Frank Cecil Day-Lewis and his wife Kathleen (nee Squires). His mother died in 1906 and he and his father moved to London where he was brought up by his father with the help of an aunt.
He spent his holidays in Wrexford and regarded himself very much as anglo-irish, although when the Republic of Ireland was declared in 1948 he chose British citizenship.
He was married twice, to Mary King in 1928 and to Jill Balcon in 1951 and during the 1940s he had a long love affair with novelist Rosamond Lehmann. He had four children from his two marriages with actor Daniel Day-Lewis, documentary filmmaker and television chef Tamasin Day-Lewis and TV critic and writer Sean Day-Lewis being three of his children.
He began work as a schoolmaster and during World War II he worked as a publications editor in the Ministry of Information. After the war he joined Chatto & Windus as a senior editor and director and then in 1946 he began lecturing at Cambridge University. He later taught poetry at Oxford University, where he was Professor of Poetry from 1951-1956 and from 1962-1963 he was the Norton Professor at Harvard University.
But he was by then earning his living mainly from his writings, having had some poetry published in the late 1920s and early 1930s and then in 1935 beginning his career as a thriller writer with 'A Question of Proof', which featured his amateur sleuth Nigel Strangeways, reputedly modelled on W H Auden. He continued the Strangeways series, which finally totalled 16 novels ending with 'The Morning After Death' in 1966. He also wrote four detective novels which did not feature Strangeways.
He continued to write poetry and became Poet Laureate in 1968, a post he held until his death in 1972. He was also awarded the CBE.
He died from pancreatic cancer on 22 May 1972 at the Hertfordshire home of Kingsley Amis and Elizabeth Jane Howard, where he and his wife were staying. He is buried in Stinsford churchyard, close to the grave of one of his heroes Thomas Hardy, something that he had arranged before his death.
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